For Immediate Release: March 08, 2012
Arlyn G. Riskind

Communicating Effectively: Emergency Messages During Stormy Weather

Washington, DC  -  

Tornado season has hit hard and early this year and forecasters are predicting a very active 2012 Spring Season. Equipped with extremely accurate weather observing tools and systems, the growing challenge faced by forecasters and local officials is not necessarily in predicting the weather, but getting the public to respond to warnings and safety instructions.  

Members of the National Communication Association who are experts in crisis communication and emergency preparedness messaging are available to provide insight on the following: 

  • What messages and communication strategies are most effective in reaching the public and getting citizens to heed the call for preparedness and safety?
  • What is the role of new media in disaster preparation?
  • Are there differences in the way men and women seek information about disasters?
  • How does race and income affect citizen responses to warning messages?
  • What is the best way to communicate help and support following a devastating storm?


Carl Botan, Ph.D.Director, PhD Program in Health and Strategic Communication
George Mason University
His research interests include public relations and strategic communication relating to national preparedness and emergency response work.

Kenneth A. Lachlan, Ph.D.
Communication Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston
His research focuses on crisis communication and emergency response, media psychology, new media technologies, and risk communication.  He examines how historically underserved communities respond to emergency messages as well as the best practices for reaching at-risk groups.

Patric R. Spence, Ph.D.
School of Communication, Western Michigan University
His research interests include audience perceptions of risk and emergency messages produced by emergency management, organizations, government and news agencies. He examines how messages motivate various publics to take action in light of perceived threats during the lifecycle of a crisis and studies the use of new/social media in the communication of a crisis.

CONTACT:    To schedule an interview with an expert, please contact Arlyn G. Riskind at or 202-534-1104.


 About National Communication Association 

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry.  The NCA serves approximately 8,000 scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

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